Bio Ink that prints living tissues – isn’t that something miraculous. The scientists at University of Bristol have used an experimental Bio Ink to do exactly that! Yes, they have successfully printed living tissues. The results of this experiment have been published in Advanced Healthcare Materials.
These researchers believe that this experimental ink will allow to print tissues that will have cellular compatibility. What does that mean? It means that the printed tissues will be compatible with existing living tissues and will end up successfully merging with them.
What the Researchers Say About the Bio Ink
According to the researchers, this new experimental Bio Ink is better than gel systems that are based on single component. It has been made by combining various functional and specialized components. The end result is a soft biomaterial which is smart and can be used for high-resolution printing. The printed tissues can then be linked to existing tissues with cytocompatibility while providing long-term structural stability and accuracy.
About the Bio Ink
The question is, how is this Bio Ink made? The answer lies in two different polymers. The experimental ink uses the following:
- Synthetic gel polymer.
- Organic polymer taken from seaweed.
Synthetic gel polymers are currently in use. Many medical devices make use of it. Human body is capable of absorbing this synthetic gel polymer. Interestingly, the special experimental Bio Ink is capable of printing that are flexible enough. This flexibility allows the printed tissues to bind with any surface shape. Apart from that, the printed tissues are pretty strong and can easily be used outside the body.
How Does the Bio Ink Work?
A 3D printer of high resolution is used for extruding the Bio Ink. The printer can easily print working tissues and organs. The researchers managed to print tracheal cartilage ring of adult size over a period of 5 weeks. As per the researchers, this experimental ink can utilize human stem cells. Stem cells are known for growing inside the body. Over a period of time, the synthetic gel polymer gets dissolved in the body, leaving behind the stem cells and seaweed-based cells.
The scientists who conducted this research say that this new experimental Bio Ink that is based on stem cells and seaweed is a major advancement. They say that not only tissues can be printed but also fully-functional organs can be printed too. And… all this can be done in a laboratory.
So the question now is, will we be very soon sharing our earth with designer organisms? May be yes! The rate at which bioengineering is developing will possibly soon make it a possibility. What do you think?